Council OKs Lodi stop signs |

Council OKs Lodi stop signs

Robert Stern

Commuters looking to use Lodi or Stockton Avenues as short cuts most likely will be disappointed by the action taken by the South Lake Tahoe City Council Tuesday night.

Residents of the streets asked the City Council for stop signs and were given one on Lodi Avenue, and the promise of several more on Lodi and Stockton Avenues.

About 15 Sierra Tract residents told the City Council that speeders are endangering their lives and the lives of their children.

“It is not a matter of if, it is when a child will get hit,” said Dan O’Rork, a Lodi Avenue resident.

Nearly 100 residents signed a petition requesting the city install multiple stop signs the length of Lodi Avenue, but the city engineering division recommended against it because the street did not meet the criteria established by the California Department of Transportation.

But after hearing testimony from the audience, the City Council decided to make an exception to the rules governing stop signs.

“It makes it easier when people get organized and let us know what the problem is,” said Mayor Hal Cole. “This is what small government is all about,” he added.

One Lodi Avenue resident, Roger Watts, said he put up an $800 fence to keep his three young children out of the street.

“The cars don’t slow down, they honk,” said Penelope Whitworth, a Stockton Avenue resident and parent.

“My direction would be, let’s address the problem before someone gets hurt,” said Councilwoman Brooke Laine.

Lodi Avenue resident Ric White, who organized the petition, said he is pleased with the council’s decision but is eager find out when the stop signs will be installed.

“It is a matter of how long (the city) will delay before they get it done, he said. “Other than that, I’m happy with what I set out to do for the community.”

The residents commended the work of the police department in enforcing speeding regulations in Sierra Tract, but believed stop signs would be the most effective solution.

South Lake Tahoe Police Officer Brodie Seagrave, who patrolled the area for speeders, said he thought the stop signs were a positive solution to the problem and commended the community for their efforts.

“I feel the (stop signs) are necessary and warranted,” he said.

The City Council unanimously supported an immediate stop sign on Lodi Avenue at the corner of Kubel Avenue and directed the city engineering department to recommend additional sites on Lodi and Stockton avenues at the next City Council meeting Sept. 18.

The city engineering division will also look at cul-de-sacs on River, Lodi and Stockton avenues and report the affect they could have on traffic speed, while taking into account the potential impact on the mobility of emergency services.

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